Scenarios cause Gameplay and class railroading?


Pathfinder Society

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Silver Crusade 1/5

ChaosTicket wrote:


Every play Video Game RPGs? Fallout 1 and 2 has 3 general specialties in combat, stealth, and diplomacy. You could focus on any one. Dont want to fight the Final Boss? Sneak in and set the base to self-destruct. Or use Diplomacy to make a character do so for you, or even even talk the Final Boss into killing itself. Ever hear of Talking the Monster to Death trope?

Yes. You are alone in Fallout 1, 2 and 3.

Now imagine playing Fallout wanting to backstab the Final Boss, another player wanting to stab its face and another wanting to talk him out of even being a boss.
Possible? Yes.
Feasable for every single encounter without bogging the game down?
No.

ChaosTicket wrote:
Its additionally frustrating in that some of the players tell me how they used outside-the-box solutions, but those are not available in Scenarios and/or the Pathfinder Society Campaign.

You keep saying that, yet you keep refusing to tell us which actual scenarios you are talking about.

ChaosTicket wrote:
So character creation is determined by either making a specialist that performs poorly in PFS or a generalist that would perform poorly in anything else. I can think of PFS builds that wouldnt survive elsewhere, and vice-versa.

So your argument is that PFS has a problem because you have to build a character that can do more than just one thing? What?

ChaosTicket wrote:
The level limitations enforce that. Whats the point of building a skill-based character if you dont roll skill checks, or what about designing a Cleric that can summon Angels but never reaches that point in PFS.

If you never roll skill checks you or your GM are doing something very, very wrong.

Another note - I designed a barbarian who will be awesome on level 17 and my GM told me that our campaign would end on level 15. What a horrible GM! /s

(I apologize for tone here, but the "My character will only be effective in levels beyond PFS" coupled with "Stop giving me too general advice" when the problem is a general one is really annoying.)

ChaosTicket wrote:
I have more enjoyment in imagining situations I Could get into that what I am actually allowed within limitations. a Non-fantastic Fantasy game? I think that is the most Fatal Flaw you can have.

Those limitations are called "The world is not your playground". It is not a problem of PFS that not everything is possible always, that's always the case with role playing games. Sometimes the BBEG is just evil. Sometimes the compound is guarded and you cannot break in easily.

Yes, PFS is more restricted. But if you want to play the "On level 13 I'm gonna be so awesome" cleric then PFS is certainly not the place to do it. Most groups probably aren't because you will have to slog through one or two years of leveling before you reach that point.


MadScientistWorking wrote:
Fallout 3 isn't helping your case. The game which railroaded you into one choice at the end even though from a storyline perspective you could do it without dying.

"Fallout 1 and 2".

Yeah this is over. If the responders to this thread are not understanding that I want to see more freedom rather than less then there is no more point to explain that over and over ad nauseum.

Some people have different opinions on what should be allowed. Ban 3rd party material, uncommon races, certain archetypes, alignments, and so on.

Now I know if I mention alignments people will jump to think I want to make a Chaotic Evil serial killer that will murder my teammates in their sleep.


ChaosTicket wrote:

...

Now I know if I mention alignments people will jump to think I want to make a Chaotic Evil serial killer that will murder my teammates in their sleep.

Would it blow your mind if I told you that no, we wouldn't think that.

Thanks for giving us the benefit of the doubt, though.

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Finland—Tampere

ChaosTicket wrote:

Yeah this is over. If the responders to this thread are not understanding that I want to see more freedom rather than less then there is no more point to explain that over and over ad nauseum.

Some people have different opinions on what should be allowed. Ban 3rd party material, uncommon races, certain archetypes, alignments, and so on.

Well, if by "freedom" you mean "third party material, uncommon races, certain archetypes, alignments, and so on" then this isn't the campaign for you.

4/5

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ChaosTicket wrote:


Yeah this is over. If the responders to this thread are not understanding that I want to see more freedom rather than less then there is no more point to explain that over and over ad nauseum.

Some people have different opinions on what should be allowed. Ban 3rd party material, uncommon races, certain archetypes, alignments, and so on.

Now I know if I mention alignments people will jump to think I want to make a Chaotic Evil serial killer that will murder my teammates in their sleep.

Question for you: did your GM for Thornkeep mention that you are literally within a town when you're entering the dungeon? Or that there's a section detailing the local goblin tribe, which the townsfolk use as free entertainment and cheap labor?

Thornkeep is a dungeon crawl, but there are a lot of RP things that were left out if the GM neglected to mention and/or prepare the town. This also means that fleeing the dungeon and resting is not only viable, but likely encouraged. Moreover, once you've been inside The Accursed Halls and seen the door to the next level, you could reasonably leave, RP in town, and walk back with a solution to the door without exploring the rest of the dungeon.

What I'm seeing out of your posts is a combination of mismatched expectations (Player-GM and Player-Campaign) that results in a poor play experience. Whether you like the PFS "house rules" or not, the judgment you've rendered so far has nothing to do with actual PFS scenarios - as mentioned, Thornkeep is a module set and it is known for being a meatgrinder dungeon crawl. Find a way to participate in actual scenarios (they'll all have numbers in the title) and let us know how you feel afterward. Here are a couple I'd recommend:

  • 7-22 Bid for Alabastrine
  • 7-12 The Twisted Circle
  • 7-01 Between the Lines
  • 6-18 From Under Ice
  • 6-09 By Way of Bloodcove
  • 5-11 Library of the Lion
  • 4-19 The Night March of Kalkamedes
  • 4-11 The Disappeared

These are just ones that I've played or run that come to mind.

Sovereign Court 3/5 **

Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Society Subscriber
ChaosTicket wrote:

If the responders to this thread are not understanding that I want to see more freedom rather than less then there is no more point to explain that over and over ad nauseum.

A general principle for social play, is that your freedoms extend to edge of mine. What you seem to want is a solo campaign. PFS is designed to serve many different people and playstyles at the same table. As a result, you can usually do your thing at least once, and often several times during a game, but seldom will you "win" a scenario by yourself.

1/5

ChaosTicket wrote:

Some people have different opinions on what should be allowed. Ban 3rd party material, uncommon races, certain archetypes, alignments, and so on.

Now I know if I mention alignments people will jump to think I want to make a Chaotic Evil serial killer that will murder my teammates in their sleep.

3rd party material is banned for good reason. This is Paizo's OP campaign. 3rd party material varies dramatically in power level and balance. A lot of 3rd party material does not fit into Golarion.

The number of different races available to players of PFS is far larger than in any home game I've ever seen. Human, half-elf, half-orc, dwarf, gnome, halfling, kitsune, nagaji, wayang, tengu, Ifrit, undine sylph, and oread are all available to everyone. There are boons out there for a few more races. If that is too constraining for you then you not only will never be happy in PFS you'll never be happy in any home game either.

Archetypes? You're upset that a few are banned? The fact that there are well over a hundred legal ones leaves you unimpressed but the handful that are banned upsets you? You're trolling us right?

Alignment, is this the crux of your complaint? Was the rest just a smokescreen to complain about not being able to play evil? Maybe you're the rare special snowflake who can play an evil character at a random table of strangers and not be disruptive, not that I believe that for a second, but I guarantee you that there are many PFS players who could not.

Sovereign Court 3/5 **

Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Society Subscriber
ChaosTicket wrote:

Its additionally frustrating in that some of the players tell me how they used outside-the-box solutions, but those are not available in Scenarios and/or the Pathfinder Society Campaign.

You know who John Compton is, right? Creative or out-of-the-box solutions are permitted in PFS, subject to the GM. I suggest reading the Roleplaying Guild Guide to get a better sense of the campaign's philosophy. Maybe if you understood why the campaign is structured as it is, you would have an easier time playing within its bounds.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/5 **

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ChaosTicket wrote:


Yeah this is over. If the responders to this thread are not understanding that I want to see more freedom rather than less then there is no more point to explain that over and over ad nauseum.

If everybody isn't understanding you it is conceivable that the problem isn't our poor reading comprehension but rather your ability to explain yourself.

My willingness to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you were genuinely seeking help and advice as opposed to deliberately trolling us is rapidly running out.

At this point I think at least one of the following is true
1) You're playing with a very toxic group and they are the problem
2) You're trying to make Special Snowflake characters and are upset that they aren't being allowed to totally dominate the game
3) You're just trolling us in the first place.
4) PFS is absolutely the wrong thing for you to be playing. I'm not at all sure what you're looking for but PFS isn't it. Note, this is NOT saying that you're not welcome, its acknowledging the fact that PFS isn't the appropriate venue for everybody.

Because there already IS an absurdly large amount of freedom in PFS. And you seem determined to not take advantage of that freedom. PFS absolutely allows skill monkeys, diplomancers, combat machines, control mages, enchantment mages, etc etc etc etc to sit at the same table and have fun.

1/5

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Paul Jackson wrote:
Because there already IS an absurdly large amount of freedom in PFS. And you seem determined to not take advantage of that freedom. PFS absolutely allows skill monkeys, diplomancers, combat machines, control mages, enchantment mages, etc etc etc etc to sit at the same table and have fun.

I've run and played in home campaigns for decades and I have never seen one that allows in as much material as PFS. Any player who feels excessively constrained by PFS is simply never going to be satisfied.

2/5 5/5 Venture-Agent, Indiana—Lafayette

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KingOfAnything wrote:

[stuff]

You know who John Compton is, right? Creative or out-of-the-box solutions are permitted in PFS, subject to the GM. I suggest reading the Roleplaying Guild Guide to get a better sense of the campaign's philosophy. Maybe if you understood why the campaign is structured as it is, you would have an easier time playing within its bounds.

Yeah, I hate when that John Compton guy tries telling people what PFS is about! ;P I have never seen ANY game, of any type, where the developers/creators/managers/whatnot interact with the players so much. If you can't take the advise they give you, you just don't have any reason to complain.

Sovereign Court 5/5

ChaosTicket wrote:

That is still too much about general advice not related specifically to the Pathfinder Society Campaign.

To restate the dilemma, most scenarios used by the Pathfinder Society seem to be combat heavy. This may be a GM choice to pick them as I dont know every scenario.

In a player perspective I havent forced any other players to go to sleep while I do so. **scenario spoiler omitted** I have outright been told that if I run away from fights I will be banned from playing at the table of at least one GM. I dont know if that counts as a "Toxic group".

A recent scenario chosen is Thornkeep. I havent played it because its combat heavy. So is it possible to avoid all encounters through alternative means? If I have to make and use combat heavy characters like a Barbarian then its railroading both by the GM and by the scenario.

I am sure someone would say platitude like "no risk, no reward" or "you can just remake you character".

ChaosTicket, I've been sympathetic to your situation as it sounds like you've had some toxic GMs who may not have been playing true to the spirit of PFS. I daresay that it sounds like most of the people who bothered to reply to you have been sympathetic, too.

The post I've quoted above may just be shedding some light, particularly the bolded portion. Obviously, if a GM threatens to ban you from future play for not following the script then there's clearly something wrong with that GM, right?

I'm now not so sure that's actually what was going on. Were you saying that your character wants to take a sleep break, with or without thenredt of the party? Did you want to withdraw from a combat, with or without the rest of the party? If so, those are actually abusive play tactics on your part. PFS doesn't allow for special snowflakes.. you are expected to be a team player and if the team doesn't want to rest and regain spells or if the team wants to kill their way through this encounter, you have two choices. Go along with it, or try to change their minds. If you can't change their minds, going off to do your own plan just isn't logistically possible. PFS play doesn't give the GM time to have two spotlights... if your course of action requires the GM to devote attention just to you you're asking the GM to let everyone else sit and wait while you do you your thing. There's just not enough time to run your preferred course of action AND the table consensus' as well. For example, if you want to stop and rest but the other players don't, you don't get to hold everyone else up while you rest. The GM should just let everyone else press on while your character is left behind (and probably missing out on the rest of the adventure if they finish it within the next 8 in-game hours..)

If you've made a habit out of insisting on getting a private spotlight for your plans that don't align with what the rest of the table wants to do, then honestly I can see why you've been given the ultimatum of knocking it off.

If you can't get the rest of the players to go along with your ideas, for PFS you have a few options.
1) try harder to convince them. If you're convinced your idea is better than the proposed course of action, then maybe you can sway them.
2) if you just can't convince them, there comes a time you need to recognize it. And adapt. So your preference isn't adopted you can let it go or just say "fine, my PC just can't accept this course of action and here's why." If you're mature and you have a legit case (you're playing a paladin and the party is just insisting on burning down an orphanage) you leave the adventure early, you get your chronicle, and you leave your character's integrity intact.
3) always be aware that in PFS there is always only one spotlight, and it will always be shared by all the characters. You never get to usurp GM attention by launching a course of action divergent from the party consensus course of action. If you want to run away from a fight, by all means do so. If you extricate your pc from danger, you'll sit and twiddle your thumbs while the rest of the table completes the combat. What won't happen is the GM giving you screen time to do whatever your private plan is while everyone else is still fighting. Once the fight is over, you can clean up the TPK that you saw coming and cleverly avoided for yourself. If the party won the fight without your PC, you then deal with the repurcussions of having left them mid-combat.... again what you won't get is a portion of GM attention to handle some other scheme while the party is still in combat. And while you certainly have the right to bail on other players and leave them high and dry in a fight, noone is going to like that and again if this is a recurring thing for you, I can see (and support) an ultimatum that you stop it or become unwelcome be issued.

Paizo Employee 4/5 Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

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ChaosTicket,

I'm having some serious trouble understanding what your concern is. When the design team answers FAQs, the designers often benefit from having a clear question or two that they can answer in a concise way. I would like to have something similar from you. What I would really like to have from you are the following:

1) Either in a few sentences or a few bullet points, what are your main concerns with the organized play program—whatever happens to be causing you consternation in this thread other than miscommunication. If it boils down to one major point, that's even better (but not necessary).

2) What would you like to see done? The more that you can be precise in naming actionable items, the easier it is for me to assess what is not within the scope of the campaign, what the campaign might be able to adcommodate with some work, and what you might have been empowered to do this whole time.

3) Provide me a specific Pathfinder Society (or other organized play) anecdote that illustrates your problem, and include the name of the adventure (or a quick description so that I can identify it based on context—ideally using spoiler tags, if you can. Consider this an optional item, but also think of it as a way to encapsukate and demonstrate your concerns in action.

4) Include any other anecdotes (including ones from other games) here.

Why am I separating things out in this way (and asking you to do the same)? It's because we need to lock in what your issue is (or issues are). Without rereading the whole thread again, I am under the impressing that the nature of your concern has migrated considerably, and the community's attempt to answer one concern based on incomplete information only causes the issue to evolve or spin off in a different direction. Integrating anecdotes directly into the first two points is really difficult for me because doing so introduces all of the incidental context assoicated with those anecdotes (or other games) are packed with other context. The more precisely (i.e. less generally) you can express your concerns, the more precisely (less generally) my answers can be. I'm sorry to put the communication onus on you, but if I am to spend another one of my evenings writing a response, I want to know that I am answering the right question(s).

John Compton
Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

5/5 5/55/55/5

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ChaosTicket wrote:

Yeah this is over. If the responders to this thread are not understanding that I want to see more freedom rather than less then there is no more point to explain that over and over ad nauseum.

You are very hard to understand because your complaints have no focus. Whenever someone answers one complaint you just move onto another one and come back to it later. You have veered off into

  • Casters being useless
  • Unspecified houserules
  • The level cap
  • Murderhobos
  • The incorrect assumption that you can't talk to anything
  • The other players at the table not appreciating watching you solve the scenario for them in an hour
  • The Teapot Dome Scandal of 1921
  • Assuming creative solutions are banned (even when the guy in charge, personally, tells you that they're allowed)
  • A completely pacifist character concept not working
  • The need to fight in a combat oriented game
  • Alignment restrictions
  • Railroady nature of the scenarios
  • Alleged lack of wealth
  • The scenarios being too hard
  • The cost of retraining
  • Your group not liking you running away at the drop of a hat.
  • Lack of third party content

Its a big rambling list and you want it ALL answered at once even before you articulate a complaint against it because we SHOULD know that when you're complaining about 1 thing you're also complaining about something else.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Phoenix

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Flutter wrote:
Fromper wrote:
Or there's the occasional possibility of using non-social skills to avoid a combat. I once skipped two encounters in a PFS adventure with a really good profession: sailor roll.

It's amazing how much damage to the local flora and fauna can be prevented with a tasty snack.

And to pathfinders too.

I didn't want to run that encounter anyway...


Pirate Rob wrote:
Note that Thornkeep is not a PFS scenario.It is not designed for PFS play. It is a Pathfinder Module with a very limited supply of conversion notes for pfs play.

It is advertised specifically as an old school style dungeon crawl specifically created for grinding up characters. So if that what the OP is picking as a representativ PFS scenario, they're way off base.

"Confirmation" is far more representative, yes there is combat, but a party who decides to kill everything they see, and not do anything else, will fail the scenario.

Dark Archive 5/5

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber
Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Flutter wrote:
Fromper wrote:
Or there's the occasional possibility of using non-social skills to avoid a combat. I once skipped two encounters in a PFS adventure with a really good profession: sailor roll.

It's amazing how much damage to the local flora and fauna can be prevented with a tasty snack.

And to pathfinders too.

I didn't want to run that encounter anyway...

You *did* run that encounter.... ish.

Glad I talked myself into joining that table, sleep deprivation be damned.

Dark Archive

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John Compton wrote:

ChaosTicket,

Why am I separating things out in this way (and asking you to do the same)? It's because we need to lock in what your issue is (or issues are). Without rereading the whole thread again, I am under the impressing that the nature of your concern has migrated considerably, and the community's attempt to answer one concern based on incomplete information only causes the issue to evolve or spin off in a different direction. Integrating anecdotes directly into the first two points is really difficult for me because doing so introduces all of the incidental context assoicated with those anecdotes (or other games) are packed with other context. The more...

Everyone dies in season 9 is looking better and better. Thank you for your dedication.

5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht

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ChaosTicket, dude, just accept that PFS might not be for you and move on. Pathfinder and D&D are primarily built as combat games. There are other options as well, sure, but ask any group of players what they spend most of their in-game time on, and the majority will say "combat." There's options for nonviolent characters, but make sure those can still contribute in a fight. Like someone else said, melee-capable characters aren't necessarily uninterested in nonviolent ways, or the other way around. For some reason, you can't seem to grasp that this isn't a binary choice. There's a whole sliding scale of how combat-orientied versus social-oriented you are. And again, you don't need to be a Fighter or Barbarian to win fights. Sure, they help a lot, but almost any class can meaningfully contribute in a fight, and still be capable of social interactions. Inquisitors are a prime example of that. And if you're not made for combat, at the least you have options of helping others. Sorcerers and Bards get Haste, Hold Person, and so on, all kinds of things that disable enemies without you actually needing to participate in combat. I'd love to see your character sheet and give pointer to how to be more effective in combat without sacrificing your idea of your character. And even if you have a Charisma of 7, that doesn't mean you can't socialise. You get penalties, sure, but you can still try. Some of my best memories are of my social potato of a character navigating a social scenario and derping in every single conversation.

What you seem to want is full sandbox mode, like Fallout. But here's the difference though: Fallout is explicitly designed as a sandbox where almost any option is viable, and combat is the most obvious one. Most PFS scenarios are the inverse: combat is usually your go-to strategy, but some scenarios give you the option to do something else. Either accept those boundaries and play within them, or don't accept them, leave, and stop complaining about them.

Like BNW said, you keep complaining about a whole suite of different things, but what it essentially boils down to is this: you want to play a boardgame version of Fallout. Pathfinder isn't a videogame. It has its own rules and you either need to accept those or move on. Simple as that. In Fallout, you're the hero and you can create your own story. PFS (and Pathfinder in general) isn't like that. You need to share the spotlight with 3 to 5 other players, and with that come certain restrictions. You can play however you want, but you still need to listen to the rules dictated by the structure of the game. If you want to do everything you want, go find a GM and have a one-person party where you can do whatever you want. Because honestly, from what I've read about you, PFS really isn't your thing.

1/5 Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo

Also difference is in Fallout where you have the sandbox is that it's solo play, opposed to having 4+ guys that need to be in a group and get something done.

Silver Crusade 4/5

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Bruno, a handsome and beautiful Tetori monk, only have one concern:

  • Bruno Grapple


Quentin Coldwater wrote:
ChaosTicket, dude, just accept that PFS might not be for you and move on.

Well if I dont play the Pathfinder society Campaign I cannot play Pathfinder at all, and RPG groups are slim around where I live. When I said earlier this is what I can get, I meant it. But I have to face it that the only RPG available to me is too inflexible. It really is disappointing as I mentioned earlier when I joined the group I asked alot of questions about things I would be allowed to do, but havent been allowed to do so. Were they lying or was the context not about Pathfinder Society but Pathfinder as a whole?

Sovereign Court 3/5 **

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Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Society Subscriber

... That is what you choose to respond to?

5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht

ChaosTicket wrote:
Quentin Coldwater wrote:
ChaosTicket, dude, just accept that PFS might not be for you and move on.
Well if I dont play the Pathfinder society Campaign I cannot play Pathfinder at all, and RPG groups are slim around where I live. When I said earlier this is what I can get, I meant it. But I have to face it that the only RPG available to me is too inflexible. It really is disappointing as I mentioned earlier when I joined the group I asked alot of questions about things I would be allowed to do, but havent been allowed to do so. Were they lying or was the context not about Pathfinder Society but Pathfinder as a whole?

The game's plenty flexible, just not in the areas you're looking for. What you want is a custom campaign with a GM who caters to you and designs around your wishes. PFS can't do that, as they need to keep everyone in mind, not just one individual. As said before, there are social scenarios where combat isn't the main draw. Those are made for you. But some people won't see it like you do, thus the game keeps them in mind as well.

KingOfAnything wrote:
... That is what you choose to respond to?

I understand it. It was more or less a direct attack. Not a very classy move on my part. I apologise.

Scarab Sages 2/5

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ChaosTicket wrote:
Quentin Coldwater wrote:
ChaosTicket, dude, just accept that PFS might not be for you and move on.
Well if I dont play the Pathfinder society Campaign I cannot play Pathfinder at all, and RPG groups are slim around where I live. When I said earlier this is what I can get, I meant it. But I have to face it that the only RPG available to me is too inflexible. It really is disappointing as I mentioned earlier when I joined the group I asked alot of questions about things I would be allowed to do, but havent been allowed to do so. Were they lying or was the context not about Pathfinder Society but Pathfinder as a whole?

We dont know, because again you are listing a general complaint, without specifics. I can not tell you whether pathfinder supports X, or whether PFS supports X, without knowing what X is. I notice that despite the lead designer for PFS, the person in charge who would be responsible for fixing the problems you have, PERSONALLY asking for your feedback 8 hours ago, with specific guidelines about information he needs, you just shat all over the concept and asked us a question which is impossible to answer without the details you refuse to provide. at this point i will assume you are a troll, and treat your posts as such.

5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht

And as for people lying about what you're allowed to do: sounds like you don't have the nicest group to play with. It's hard to judge with only one side of the story, but I think both parties are at fault here. The playgroup might not be very welcoming to you, but I get the sense that you have a lot of expectations that just aren't suited for PFS. They need to be more welcoming, but you might just need to change attitude if you want to enjoy the game.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/5 **

ChaosTicket wrote:
But I have to face it that the only RPG available to me is too inflexible.

You're either ignoring pretty much everything everybody is saying or you're just a troll.

In either case, you're not worth spending more time on. I'm done.

5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht

burkoJames wrote:
at this point i will assume you are a troll, and treat your posts as such.

Frankly, I'm the same. You seem either unwilling (troll?) or incapable of changing opinions. We can post all we want, as long as you're not giving the information we're requesting, this whole thread is moot.

The Exchange 5/5

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ChaosTicket wrote:
Quentin Coldwater wrote:
ChaosTicket, dude, just accept that PFS might not be for you and move on.
Well if I dont play the Pathfinder society Campaign I cannot play Pathfinder at all, and RPG groups are slim around where I live. When I said earlier this is what I can get, I meant it. But I have to face it that the only RPG available to me is too inflexible. It really is disappointing as I mentioned earlier when I joined the group I asked alot of questions about things I would be allowed to do, but havent been allowed to do so. Were they lying or was the context not about Pathfinder Society but Pathfinder as a whole?

John asked you a bunch of questions to try and help clarify things and help you with your answers. You might try answering his questions so he can help you with this.


This was my last attempt to find a reason to keep waiting for something to improve. Ive been going through the motions hoping I can win the scenarios and that the rewards would make things enjoyable. Instead its grinding.

I wanted to pick fun characters instead of just doing whatever I had to to get the reward, but that didnt work.

Now I cant do either. Its like working a boring job for free.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

ChaosTicket wrote:
Now I cant do either. Its like working a boring job for free.

That, my friend, is your own choice. You may choose otherwise, regardless of what the GM says.


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ChaosTicket wrote:

This was my last attempt to find a reason to keep waiting for something to improve instead of going through the motions hoping I can win the scenarios and that the rewards would make things enjoyable.

I wanted to pick fun characters instead of just doing whatever I had to to get the reward, but that didnt work.

Now I cant do either. Its like working a boring job for free.

John Compton, who actually runs PFS, asked you for more information, so he could help you. Rather than bongoing to us, perhaps you should respond to him.

Or you can just complain and we can ignore you.

Scarab Sages 2/5

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ChaosTicket wrote:

This was my last attempt to find a reason to keep waiting for something to improve instead of going through the motions hoping I can win the scenarios and that the rewards would make things enjoyable.

I wanted to pick fun characters instead of just doing whatever I had to to get the reward, but that didnt work.

Now I cant do either. Its like working a boring job for free.

Dude, the lead designer of PFS is looking for feedback to improve the game. He asked for your personal input earlier in this thread. Putting all these woe is me posts up while ignoring his posts really undermines your case that you are looking for something to improve.

Horizon Hunters 4/5 5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Indiana—Indianapolis

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ChaosTicket wrote:

This was my last attempt to find a reason to keep waiting for something to improve. Ive been going through the motions hoping I can win the scenarios and that the rewards would make things enjoyable. Instead its grinding.

I wanted to pick fun characters instead of just doing whatever I had to to get the reward, but that didnt work.

Now I cant do either. Its like working a boring job for free.

Plenty of people here, most notably John Compton, have you given you exceedingly helpful and excellent advice. It is true that PFS isn't for everyone. Some do think it's too limiting (I disagree with that assessment, but YMMV) - for example, some people want to play evil characters, or a race that isn't permitted. Many of the challenges you cite aren't the fault of the game, but the group you were playing with.

Try to find another group (the online collective is pretty good, I hear.). Or, start your own PFS group if you can't.

But, perhaps you should really consider answering the series of questions John put to you - he's trying to be helpful.

At the end of the day, CT, you have to decide whether or not the game is worth the effort you feel you will have to put in. It's not more complicated than that.

I honestly don't think there's any more to be said here.

Good luck in whatever you choose (I hope you choose to give PFS a chance, but understand if you make a different choice.)

5/5 5/55/55/5

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PFS is too limiting because I can't ________________


I have no idea who any of you are. I dont even know what you are asking about as "information" is incredibly vague.

Sovereign Court 3/5 **

Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Society Subscriber
John Compton wrote:

ChaosTicket,

I'm having some serious trouble understanding what your concern is. When the design team answers FAQs, the designers often benefit from having a clear question or two that they can answer in a concise way. I would like to have something similar from you. What I would really like to have from you are the following:

1) Either in a few sentences or a few bullet points, what are your main concerns with the organized play program—whatever happens to be causing you consternation in this thread other than miscommunication. If it boils down to one major point, that's even better (but not necessary).

2) What would you like to see done? The more that you can be precise in naming actionable items, the easier it is for me to assess what is not within the scope of the campaign, what the campaign might be able to adcommodate with some work, and what you might have been empowered to do this whole time.

3) Provide me a specific Pathfinder Society (or other organized play) anecdote that illustrates your problem, and include the name of the adventure (or a quick description so that I can identify it based on context—ideally using spoiler tags, if you can. Consider this an optional item, but also think of it as a way to encapsukate and demonstrate your concerns in action.

4) Include any other anecdotes (including ones from other games) here.

Why am I separating things out in this way (and asking you to do the same)? It's because we need to lock in what your issue is (or issues are). Without rereading the whole thread again, I am under the impressing that the nature of your concern has migrated considerably, and the community's attempt to answer one concern based on incomplete information only causes the issue to evolve or spin off in a different direction. Integrating anecdotes directly into the first two points is really difficult for me because doing so introduces all of the incidental context assoicated with those anecdotes (or other games) are packed with other context. The more precisely (i.e. less generally) you can express your concerns, the more precisely (less generally) my answers can be. I'm sorry to put the communication onus on you, but if I am to spend another one of my evenings writing a response, I want to know that I am answering the right question(s).

This seems like a good place to start.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

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ChaosTicket wrote:
I have no idea who any of you are.

Me either. Just a bunch of ones and zeroes.

Dark Archive 5/5

ChaosTicket wrote:
I have no idea who any of you are. I dont even know what you are asking about as "information" is incredibly vague.

The guy named 'John Compton', whose name shows up in blue above his posts as 'John Compton' and has a little Paizo golem symbol next to it... he's one of the lead designers for PFS. Go back, read his posts, and answer his questions. Be specific, not vague. The more specific you are, the easier it is to answer your concerns.

Or, don't. Keep posting vague and nebulous complaints that lead in circles. No skin off my teeth either way.

Scarab Sages 2/5

ChaosTicket wrote:
I have no idea who any of you are. I dont even know what you are asking about as "information" is incredibly vague.

if you look at peoples names on these boards, you'll find that some have titles next to them. a lot of them are awards. but some of them are important, like venture-lieutenant, or venture captain which point out people who are regional leaders in the scoiety. There are also titles indicating Paizo staff. John Compton has such a title, clearly labeling him "Pathfinder Society Lead Developer". You not knowing who he is sounds like willful ignorance to me.

I keep asking for details about problems you say you have.

You said you asked a bunch of questions to your pfs group about what you could or could not do before you started playing. you asked if they were lying. You have not told me what those questions were so i can not tell you if they were lying. So what questions did you ask?

The John Compton post i keep linking was very clear about what he wanted from you. "the jeff" was trying to point you at it, not repeating the question. its a detailed request for specifics. He is even more specific then I was asking those same questions. He isnt just asking for "information".


Okay #1 how about an actual reward from trying?

Right now scenarios are basically all about finishing them to get the final reward. You can get some additional special rules or an extra prestige point, but actually being inventive or going for self-imposed achievements like trying to kill every enemy possible gives little. Rewards dont scale to the difficulty so a scenario full of cannibals and ghouls gives the same reward as exploring an ice cave. It illogical to actually go for the more difficult scenarios.

#2 No additional level capping over Pathfinder. There is an actual rule that you have to basically kill off your character once it reaches level 12. Its called "retirement". Why would anyone want to intentionally diminish their characters potential?

#3 No railroading. I see no reason to have unavoidable anything or have skills locked because the script says something like "character [blank] cannot be [blank]ed".

Make up your mind. Some people basically say I should quit the game. Then when I say I am I get responses saying i should answer 20 questions about why I am quitting. At least one person actually insulted me about it. Sigh, well thats is what i get for using a forum. Its badgering that this has gone WAY off topic.

Does anyone actually agree the Pathfinder Society is limited? If not please just stop responding. I have a hard time quitting things. Ive played Pathfinder Society Campaign way after I found major limitations. Ive played World of Tanks from 5 years and long since lost any enjoyment until I reach the point where I cant go any further without paying cash. And I keep responding here when I am getting baited, badgered, and trolled.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Phoenix

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ChaosTicket wrote:

#2 No additional level capping over Pathfinder. There is an actual rule that you have to basically kill off your character once it reaches level 12. Its called "retirement". Why would anyone want to intentionally diminish their characters potential?

My 14th level Holy Vindicator and 15th level Life Oracle are very much alive.

ChaosTicket wrote:
Does anyone actually agree the Pathfinder Society is limited? If not please just stop responding. I have a hard time quitting things. Ive played Pathfinder Society Campaign way after I found major limitations.

Certainly. But I find it far less limited than home games I've played, and the restrictions placed upon us are for very good reasons.

5/5 ** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht

*Bites the bait anyways.*

ChaosTicket wrote:

Okay #1 how about an actual reward from trying?

Right now scenarios are basically all about finishing them to get the final reward. You can get some additional special rules or an extra prestige point, but actually being inventive or going for self-imposed achievements like trying to kill every enemy possible gives little. Rewards dont scale to the difficulty so a scenario full of cannibals and ghouls gives the same reward as exploring an ice cave. It illogical to actually go for the more difficult scenarios.

That's the nature of the game. There's actually lots of ways to get less money, either through failing Perception checks to notice gear, to letting enemies get away with valuable gear. The fact that you get the gold listed on the sheet IS your extra reward for finding hidden stuff.

And scenarios are usually (though not always) written to be at about the same difficulty level. Sometimes authors slip up. The scenario you mention is indeed on the more difficult end, but still manageable if you have a decent party.

ChaosTicket wrote:
#2 No additional level capping over Pathfinder. There is an actual rule that you have to basically kill off your character once it reaches level 12. Its called "retirement". Why would anyone want to intentionally diminish their characters potential?

Like normal Pathfinder caps at 20, PFS caps at 12. They don't "die," there's just nothing more for them to do. Again, it's part of the game. I'm playing several modules above that level, and things just get silly. Spells get to break entire fights in half. It's almost impossible to balance properly. Yeah, it sucks that you can't play on with your character, but 12 is still a decent amount of games. You're still playing 33 times, maybe more if you're slowtracking. I'd say that's still a good amount of time you're spending with your character.

ChaosTicket wrote:
#3 No railroading. I see no reason to have unavoidable anything or have skills locked because the script says something like "character [blank] cannot be [blank]ed".

Again, part of the game. Fallout has hundreds of options because it's designed as such. PFS has time constraints and a pretty tight development schedule and word count. Adventures have to be kinda railroady to get their point across. Good GMs can deviate from it if they're flexible enough, but if a GM goes "I don't know how to handle this situation, so let's not do that," it's his right.

ChaosTicket wrote:

Make up your mind. Some people basically say I should quit the game. Then when I say I am I get responses saying i should answer 20 questions about why I am quitting. At least one person actually insulted me about it. Sigh, well thats is what i get for using a forum. Its badgering that this has gone WAY off topic.

Does anyone actually agree the Pathfinder Society is limited? If not please just stop responding. I have a hard time quitting things. Ive played Pathfinder Society Campaign way after I found major limitations. Ive played World of Tanks from 5 years and long since lost any enjoyment until I reach the point where I cant go any further without paying cash. And I keep responding here when I am getting baited, badgered, and trolled.

Yes, it's limiting. But if you accept those boundaries and play along with them, you'll have a great time. Yes, it sucks that you'll never get your level 15 ability. But there's still enough abilities in each class to keep you entertained for a long time. It requires a certain suspension of disbelief that you simply seem to lack. Either take it or leave it. I see you're still not responding to our suggestions, so you seem unwilling to change. If that's the case, you probably will never like PFS, for the reasons given above. That's a shame, but if you're just yelling what you don't like without willing to change your behaviour, I simply don't see PFS working out for you.

Sovereign Court 3/5 **

Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Society Subscriber
ChaosTicket wrote:

Okay #1 how about an actual reward from trying?

Right now scenarios are basically all about finishing them to get the final reward. You can get some additional special rules or an extra prestige point, but actually being inventive or going for self-imposed achievements like trying to kill every enemy possible gives little.

Do you have faction cards for your characters? Those are full of individual character goals that fit the campaign (kill everything is more likely to get you into trouble than not).

Being inventive and invoking creative solutions often lets you save resources, which saves your character cash.

Quote:
#2 No additional level capping over Pathfinder. There is an actual rule that you have to basically kill off your character once it reaches level 12. Its called "retirement". Why would anyone want to intentionally diminish their characters potential?

Seeker arcs and modules exist. Yes, there is much less opportunity for play at higher levels, but it is not impossible.

Quote:
#3 No railroading. I see no reason to have unavoidable anything or have skills locked because the script says something like "character [blank] cannot be [blank]ed".

Sometimes you can't do some things. That doesn't mean that alternative solutions don't exist.

5/5 5/55/55/5

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0

ChaosTicket wrote:
Okay #1 how about an actual reward from trying?

Your headers rarely to never match up with the text you have explaining them.

Quote:
Right now scenarios are basically all about finishing them to get the final reward.

This is entirely dependent on how you and your group choose to see thiings. Generally it's about finishing them to conclude the story and defeat the badguy. The loot is just a happy side effect. PFS missions are not so difficult that failing happens often enough that you need a rule for this. I think in 27 characters I've had 1 mission failboat.

Quote:
You can get some additional special rules or an extra prestige point, but actually being inventive or going for self-imposed achievements like trying to kill every enemy possible gives little.

So how on earth would a printed scenario, given to a dm, be able to account for Chaosticket deciding to go for the Slaughter your world Achievement that Chaosticket just decided to make up during the adventure?

What would prevent me from handing out 10,000 gp to a level 1 character if DM's were allowed to do this?

Quote:
Rewards dont scale to the difficulty so a scenario full of cannibals and ghouls gives the same reward as exploring an ice cave. It illogical to actually go for the more difficult scenarios.

In theory the CR system takes care of this. The CR system is wonky though.

Quote:
#2 No additional level capping over Pathfinder. There is an actual rule that you have to basically kill off your character once it reaches level 12. Its called "retirement". Why would anyone want to intentionally diminish their characters potential?

1) It's a soft cap. There ARE scenarios and adventures after that. The eyes of ten, the new all for immortality. Sanctioned modules.

2) The game breaks past level 10 or so. It becomes rocket tag where you win or lose initiative and then someone dies. It's really not fun much past that point.

3) Not enough people play at levels that high to be able to get together and support regular gaming. I'm sure you notice how many level 1-5 tables vs how many 7-11 tables there are. It gets exponentially smaller beyond that.

Quote:
#3 No railroading. I see no reason to have unavoidable anything or have skills locked because the script says something like "character [blank] cannot be [blank]ed".

Sometimes it makes sense sometimes it doesn't.

Quote:
Make up your mind. Some people basically say I should quit the game. Then when I say I am I get responses saying i should answer 20 questions about why I am quitting. At least one person actually insulted me about it. Sigh, well thats is what i get for using a forum. Its badgering that this has gone WAY off topic.

You want multiple geeks to all agree on the best way to approach a situation like we're some kind of hive mind?

Have you MET geeks? Arguing against each other is something we do to get INTO this hobby.

Quote:
Does anyone actually agree the Pathfinder Society is limited?

I can't answer that question because i don't know what you mean and you are having a LOT of trouble expressing what you mean here.

Is it limited because there are limits on it: Yes. I can't play superman and deal 8 billion points of damage to the planet. That's a limit.

Is it limited because it has few options in comparison to a home game? No. no it is not. While you may want to compare it to THE platonic ideal homegame that allows everything YOU want, a fair comparison is to most home games. Compared to most DMs PFS lets a alot of stuff in the door.

Quote:
If not please just stop responding. I have a hard time quitting things. Ive played Pathfinder Society Campaign way after I found major limitations. Ive played World of Tanks from 5 years and long since lost any enjoyment until I reach the point where I cant go any further without paying cash. And I keep responding here when I am getting baited, badgered, and trolled.

If you're that miserable at something please make the will save and take a break from it. You're probably bringing down other people's enjoyment and that's not fair to them.

4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Massachusetts—Boston

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PFS might not be right for you, ChaosTicket… because you seem to not enjoy it (based on your complaints on the constraints.

RPG rules exist so that in our [insert genre here] game of cops & robbers doesn't degrade into a never ending cycle of "bang bang, you're dead… no I'm not." (And from some of the rules lawyer conversations I've seen over 20 years… that's not a guarantee.)

Organized play rules, whether it's PFS or whatever Wizards has now for D&D, or Fellowship of the White Star, Demon Hunter, The Camarilla (or whatever the new version of the V:TM LARP is), etc, allow more people to play across larger player pools because the additional rules keep us all on the same page.

It means that both players and GMs have those constraints.

As to your list above-

1) Reward from trying: if you don't complete a scenario, you do get rewards based on what you did do. It's in the Roleplaying Guild Guide.

2) Level capping exists because honestly, the story world and Pathfinder Society within that world isn't set up to deal with an influx of characters that will be stronger than the Decemvirate, the semi-divine beings who live on it, and eventually the gods themselves. Just as there aren't thousands of insanely wealthy trillionaires in this reality.

That being said… there are a number of scenarios and modules for post retirement play.

3) I hate it when I feel railroaded by a scenario too. I also hate it when I'm railroaded by my everyday life because of things like physics, biology, and economics.

I also know, play with, and run for, a group who likes to steal the tracks, melt them down, and build whatever the best tool is at the time to destroy the scenario. It's a challenge, especially as the GM, to make sure that that group still has a great time… but it's not impossible. Some GMs are better at it than others… just like some actors are better at improv than others, but that doesn't mean that a GM who isn't as good at that is a bad GM… they can still provide a good experience if you're willing to have one.

One of the most important things is if everyone at the table, real or virtual, is having fun: this includes the GM and all of the players.

Silver Crusade 2/5

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
So how on earth would a printed scenario, given to a dm, be able to account for Chaosticket deciding to go for the Slaughter your world Achievement that Chaosticket just decided to make up during the adventure?

Thanks BNW took me a second to make the connection to the Little Mermaid.

1/5

ChaosTicket wrote:
Does anyone actually agree the Pathfinder Society is limited? If not please just stop responding. I have a hard time quitting things. Ive played Pathfinder Society Campaign way after I found major limitations. Ive played World of Tanks from 5 years and long since lost any enjoyment until I reach the point where I cant go any further without paying cash. And I keep responding here when I am getting baited, badgered, and trolled.

PFS is far less limited than you will ever likely find with a home game. No GM can conceivably own and know all the material allowed in PFS and GM's rarely allow in things from material they don't own and even more rarely admit material they are not familiar with.

This might be why you cannot find a home game. If you showed up at mine demanding to use some 3rd party book I don't own or some race/class/archetype not already on my allowed list you would be told no. And you can be sure my list of allowed races, classes and archetypes is far shorter than PFS's.

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